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 Newslink              October 2000

A Letter from the Past
In 1967, Fr John Schofield, a much-loved former Vicar of St Faith’s, wrote from retirement in Bridport this letter for the magazine of the time. It may serve as a fitting prelude to our Patronal and Centenary Celebrations 2000.

Dear People of St Faith’s

I gladly send you my greetings and my best wishes for a happy and inspiring Patronal Festival. My mind goes back to the wonderful Festivals at St Faith’s in the time I was there. It is exactly twenty years since I was your Vicar. My memories of St Faith’s are very happy ones; the beauty and atmosphere of the Church, the reverence and dignity of the worship, the splendid choir, the wonderful youth organisations with such willing and capable leaders, the band of devoted servers all who gave help in various ways, my loyal colleagues in the Ministry, and the ever-faithful Jim (Burgess. Ed.). I think I can truly say I have never loved any other Church as much as I love St Faith’s. Today I enjoy reading of your doings in the admirable Parish News, and hearing from my old friends.

This summer I have had the pleasure of visits from two former curates, Canon E O Beard and Canon R K Honner. When I went to Salisbury I found already living there Peter Horswill, a former chorister, and Miss Bertha Peck, once a devoted member of St Faith’s and on the staff of MTS. Here in Bridport I have Tony Wheeler, a Rector in Dorchester on one side of me, and his sister, Philippa Beer on the other. Recently in Seaton I ran into Robin Smallwood. It is impossible to get away from St Faith’s!

These post-war years have been difficult years for all churches and we are sometimes tempted to be depressed and disheartened about the situation. When the children of Israel were embarking upon the Exodus they suddenly grew fearful and hesitant. Then God gave them a message through Moses; Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward±, and they went forward, and the seas were divided, and their venture was wholly successful.

May St Faith’s go forward into the future with confidence and hope, and from strength to strength. With my love and blessing, yours affectionately,

John Schofield

From the Vicar                      October 2000

The Centenary Celebrations here at St. Faith’s have spanned three years! During that time some marvellous things have happened. Former priests have been back to preach, concerts and recitals have taken place; we have had the opportunity to thank God in our liturgy and our prayers for the way in which St. Faith’s has played its part in proclaiming the Gospel here in Waterloo and beyond during the past 100 years. October 6th sees the exciting climax of the celebrations, when we come together for the High Mass of St. Faith. Whilst we are rightly commemorating all that St. Faith’s has meant, and will continue to mean, to many people, Patronal Festivals are not just about buildings (Dedication Festivals are for that!). On 6th October we praise God for St. Faith: for her life, example and prayers. Unlike the Patron of the other half of the United Benefice, little is known of St. Faith. However, we can be sure of three things.

1. Faith was a person of holiness and a person of prayer. How serious are we about prayer? Do we consciously make an effort to pray each day? Is God at the centre of all we seek to do? We must resolve at our Patronal Festival to be people of prayer, like St. Faith. Only by getting down on our knees and listening to the voice of God can we try to understand what His will is for us and for our parish in the future. Someone once said that trying to pray is prayer. We may not always find the right words or feel in the right mood. It is precisely at those times that we need to try harder. Even sitting still in church and lighting a candle can help us find the right words.

2. Faith’s life was one of sacrifice. She gave herself completely to her Lord, even to the point of death. We can thank God that we have the freedom to worship freely; we can choose when we worship God. Rarely do we expect to be persecuted for our faith. We often forget that in other parts of the world, even today,  people are persecuted  for their faith and their beliefs.  Would we be prepared to give our lives for the sake of the Gospel? How serious is our commitment to serving Christ in our community? Do we prefer just to talk about it, or do we get on and do it? In honouring St. Faith, we are asking for the grace and strength to be like her. We must pray that like her, we might have the courage of our convictions.

3. Faith did not seek glory for herself but sought to glorify God. Our Centenary Celebration must not be a time simply for nostalgia, or for congratulating ourselves that we think we do things rather well at St. Faith’s. And so we do! All that is done in our parish must be to the glory of God and for the building up of his body, the church. We must want our church to grow, we must encourage others to come along. Tell them what they are missing out on. The growth of the church is in the hands of each and every member of St. Faith’s. We have the tremendous privilege of service. The Church of England is the only organisation which exists, Archbishop Temple once said, for those who are not its members. We must seek to give glory to God in all that we do and especially in the service of God’s people.

On October 6th we shall thank God for all that has happened to bring us to this present moment. But as the celebrations come to a close, we must be clear about one thing  a new chapter is just beginning.

Despite the fact that he was suffering with his illness, and his diary was still over-full, the late Lord Runcie readily and eagerly responded to the invitation to write a message for this year’s Diary of Events. I end by quoting some of what he said at the start of this year.

‘... these are not times for spiritual self-indulgence. The coincidence of St. Faith’s Centenary and the millennium year forces us to consider the place of the church in the twenty-first century ... We pray that under God’s guidance the year 2000 will be one to consider afresh how we can continue that great tradition and in doing so meet the needs of the new age.’

May all of us experience the deep power of God working in our lives this St. Faith’s-tide and beyond.

With my love and prayers.

Fr. Neil

Hang out the Banners  Audrey Dawson

One of the ways we are celebrating our Centenary is to produce two banners which will hang in the two side aisles close to the Lady Chapel and Chapel of the Cross. These banners will depict various happenings during the last 100 years, and will have the names of all the past parish clergy and those who have found their vocation here. They will also feature events and themes such as the two world wars, fashions, and transport from the first century of St Faith’s life. All these items, both illustration and text, have been created by members of the congregation, using various methods of embroidery. There will be a booklet produced to explain what each item represents.

Although a great deal of work has gone into this enterprise, and it has taken two years to complete, we have all enjoyed doing it and finding out our various talents, and we look forward to the dedication of the Centenary Hangings by Bishop Emmanuel of Akure during the High Mass on October 6th. We are grateful to all who have helped with ideas, drawings and, of course, the embroidery itself, for their hard work and skill, and would like to believe that have created an inheritance for future generations at St Faith’s.

Don’t Broadcast it ...

In its latest shake-up, supposedly in the interests of listeners and viewers, the BBC is to axe the traditional post of Head of Religious Broadcasting. Currently the Religious Affairs Department, based in Manchester, is led by the Revd. Ernest Rea. But he is to be replaced by a Head of Religion and Ethics, assisted by a Creative Director for Religion. A former Head of Religious Broadcasting, well-known writer and broadcaster Canon David Winter, commented: God himself would seem to the only suitably-qualified candidate for the latter post!

The BBC claim that such changes will place religion where it belongs: at the heart of a creative power-house of the best documentary specialists. To quote Canon Winter: So much for those who though it belonged in the prayer room or in the sanctuary.

From Focus, the magazine of St Mary the Virgin, Davyhulme.

From the Archives   Chris Price

Visitors to Crosby Library will be able to enjoy a special display of photos and text to mark the Centenary of St Faith’s. We are very grateful to archivist and local historian Mr Mark Sargant who (with a little help from Denis Griffiths, Fr Dennis and the present writer) has put this striking display together. Much of the material comes from the archived newspaper articles referring to events at St Faith’s: we print below a selection of snippets from the early years to the Sixties; later years will follow in a later issue.


Back in 1906 the papers carried a blow-by-blow account of the Easter Vestry (today’s A.G.M.). At the conclusion of the business the Vicar, the Rev. T.H.Baxter, expressed his thanks to the congregation for the magnificent way they had subscribed to the various funds. He thought they had done extremely well, when it was considered that they started practically without a congregation, and ever since the church was opened they had kept up the expenses  and paid half the vicar’s stipend, and had never been in debt to any great amount.


Over half a century later, a feature in the Crosby Herald of 2.3.62 reviewed the story of our church since its foundation, and recalls the pastoral setting in which the building was originally set. Waterloo and Great Crosby were distinct districts, with Waterloo a mere strip along the coast. St John’s road was little better than a cart track ... Crosby Road was a country lane, and from the grounds of Merchant Taylors’ School one could gaze out over cornfields to the cemetery at Ford. The interior of the church, whose building cost some þ20,000 at the time, is described: A peep inside the church at that time would have revealed the east end almost austerely plain, with a dark red curtain running the entire width behind the altar. The latter was furnished with a cross and two candlesticks. The only other candles were on the pulpit to light the preacher’s notes, the rest of the church being lighted by gas. (Those latter candles set a bishop on fire in later years, while the site of some of the old gas brackets can be seen in the chancel. Ed.)

Later landmarks recalled in this article are the installation of both the reredos and the organ in 1901, the building of the Hall in 1906, and the split that came about following the establishment of Sung Eucharist just before the first world war. Linen, and soon silk, vestments were introduced in 1917; in 1920 a battle was fought and won to stop a cinema being built where the garage later stood; in 1921 the chancel screen was installed in memory of the founder’s son, killed at Cambrai. Soon after the Great Crucifix was brought back by Douglas Horsfall from Italy and not long after legal action was threatened when application was made to the Bishop to allow Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. Head-counters will be interested to note that in the peak year of 1933 there were 464 Easter communicants and 416 at Christmas. (Don’t ask. Ed.)


By November 1965 the local press was learning how to describe St Faith’s vicars. It was reported that The Rev William Hassall ... has now retired. Father Hassall, as he was affectionately known, has not been in good health for some time and felt the time had come to retire and make way for a more active man. By July 1966 the paper reported the induction of the next vicar: The Rev. Charles A. Billington, or Father Charles, as he hopes to be known.


Within a year that same incumbent has made significant changes to our life and worship at St Faith’s, prompting an article in the magazine, and reprinted in the Herald,  by a parishioner, Mr Dennis Smith (yes, it’s him. Ed.) Applauding the replacement of the 8.00 Communion by the 10.45 Sung Eucharist as the main celebration of the day, Mr Smith explains: Being a Christian entails, without any doubt, fellowship and companionship with other people; for this reason the 10.45 service has been emphasised as the service at which we, as a family, young and old, meet together to join in the worship, sing hymns, listen to what the father of the family has to say and then leave the church in the companionship of our fellow brothers in Christ. These opportunities are denied us at 8 a.m. History once again seems to be repeating itself as the current service time changes and associated controversy bring these same arguments to the fore in 2000.


Fr Charles is quoted in a 1967 paper explaining what he saw as St Faith’s distinctive  ethos.  He  calls  us  a church  of  character  right  from  its earliest moments  either greatly repellant or greatly attractive. Quoting the dedication  tablet  in  the  sanctuary,  he  declares   We  have come a long way since those early days. Without losing anything vital of our distinctive character and tradition, we are striving to become a church for all men  a spiritual home for senior citizens, men and women, teenagers, boys, girls and infants.


There  were  lots of  little St Faith’s  items  in the  papers  of  1969.   Fr  Charles
advertised the joint Lent courses with members of Waterloo Baptist and SS Peter and Paul’s R.C. Churches, and invited people to see a baby baptised at the 11.30 pm Easter Vigil service, where there would be a mixture of modern and traditional music, plus a trumpeter. Joe Riley reported that Youth Club Leader Peter Roberts (another young parishioner soon to become a priest) was experimenting with a club open night, with not only a demonstration by Waterloo Judo Club but a fashion show and wig display by the girls, under the direction of Mrs Enid Greenwood, who is currently conducting a charm course at the club.

In April there was a report of another event finding an echo in the year 2000, with the recent arrangements with St Mary’s. St Faith’s parishioners will be having their long-awaited visit to St John’s, Waterloo, a week on Sunday. There will be no 10.45 am service at St Faith’s; instead, the parishioners will go to the 11 am Communion service at St John’s. The Vicar would like all car drivers to call at the church from 10.40 am onwards to ferry people down to St John’s.


A more permanent scheme began that month, with the beginning of Coffee Sundays which are to be to be held once a month in the church hall after the morning service. Coffee will be made by members of the Youth Club, and there will be a little light entertainment from a folk group. The service will be made as short as possible, and there will be no sermon. The church notices will be read out in the hall during coffee. Readers may judge the success of this scheme over the past thirty years: we may have lost the folk group and the Youth Club coffee-makers, and regained the sermon (and the full length!) but the Sunday coffee in the hall is something we now gladly take for granted.

Further snippets from the late 60s ...  The Youth Club leaders, in September 1968, urged their members to attend church regularly  their own churches, since it is an interdenominational club. Its books are full, and there is a waiting list, and they will soon be offering a course in deportment for the girls and instruction in ballroom dancing (! Ed.). A year later voting slips are being circulated with the church magazine to form the basis of a congregational top ten hymns evening to raise money for the additional Curates Society. And two months later a sermon given entirely by lay people is to be the first of three dealing with the national sign-in on world poverty.

And finally in the 60s, the Christmas Fair of 1969 featured such recognisable worthies as Mr and Mrs C.S.Dawson (home produce), Mrs J.Edgar (hats), Mr John Taylor (soft drinks), Mr Rick Walker (copper mine) and last but not least Mr and Mrs C.D. Price (Christmas novelty)!

Of such is history made...

Funny you should say that

A miser called his vicar, doctor, and his lawyer to his death-bed. When I die I want to take my money with me, he said. So I’m going to ask each of you to take one of these envelopes, each containing £15,000 in cash, and throw them into the grave at my funeral.

The three did as they were told but later the vicar confessed he had kept £5,000 for the church and thrown in the rest. ‘I’m building a new surgery, admitted the doctor, so I kept £10,000 and only threw in £5,000’.

‘I’m ashamed of you both!’ scolded the lawyer. I threw in a cheque for the full amount!’

(No resemblance to any vicar, doctor or (especially) lawyer intended. Ed.)

Ten (Junior) Commandments

As our children go back to school for the new academic year, we reproduce for their contemplation a list seen in the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Rye.

1 Be quiet!
2 Stop that!
3 Wash your hands
4 Go to sleep
5 Eat your vegetables
6 Sit up straight
7 Tidy your room
8 Swallow your medicine
9 Use a hankie
  10 Honour your mother and father.

Figuring it out

Anglican priest Stephen Cottrell, writing for the Bible Society, raises important and challenging issues for St Faith’s and for the church in general.

Recent research has indicated a decline in numbers attending church. The media seem to enjoy the churches’ predicament and the response of church leaders is too often inadequate. So how might these statistics be interpreted and what should our response be?

When I first became a parish priest I inherited a Wednesday morning Eucharist usually attended by about ten people. To be honest, I didn’t give the service much attention: it was good that these people wanted to come to church in the week, but I saw it as a purely pastoral provision for those who, either  through loneliness or devotion,  wanted to make an extra commitment. After about a year I noticed that the regular Wednesday congregation had grown to about fifteen and three of those who were attending never came on Sunday. I visited them to try and persuade them to come to church on Sunday. It was not that I wanted to stop the Wednesday morning growth, it’s just that Sunday was proper church! These people, however, had very good reasons for not coming on Sunday. In each case conflicting family or work commitments prevented church on Sunday from being a realistic option.

As another year went past  and the congregation grew to about twenty  I found that two of the new people attending were new Christians seeking initiation into the faith. They had been evangelised by their friends who came on Wednesday, and obviously it was this service, not Sunday, that they entered into.

It was at this point that the penny dropped. While I was fighting a rearguard action to keep Sunday special, the Holy Spirit had danced on ahead of me and was blessing Wednesday. Here was a church plant that  provided a place for a new worshipping community to develop, and also had within it people who felt so comfortable and nourished that they were quietly getting on with  bringing people to faith.

Dr Peter Brierley of the Christian Research Association has recently published the disturbing conclusions of the latest English Church Attendance survey in a book entitled The Tide is Running Out. The media have pounced upon these depressing figures with glee, and the undignified response of the Church has either been implausible spin or a burying of mitres in the sand.

We need to engage with the reality of what is being reflected back to us in these figures. There is a lot of bad news:
·  Since 1979 the percentage of the population attending church each week in England has dropped from 12% to 7.5%.
·  Most alarming of all, there is a drastic decline in the numbers of children attending church. We are losing approximately a thousand a week.

This means we are becoming an older church and points to further drastic decline as the present generation of those over 65, who make for a large proportion of our worshippers, begin to die and are not replaced by the generations behind them.

We need to be honest about this situation, and look for fresh ways to respond. There are signs of hope in the report. Many people attend church regularly, but not every Sunday. This means the actual figure of those involved in the life of the Church will always be higher than the average figure. In the diocese of Wakefield,  I conducted a piece of research into patterns of attendance. In one deanery we kept a register at every church for eight weeks. We found that very few people actually came each week. Because of the varying commitments of work and leisure of contemporary life, many committed Christians are only coming to church two or three times a month. This does not mean the decline is not really happening, but it does urge caution in assuming average figures can ever tell more than a very partial story.

The harder question is: how are we able to go with the flow of these changing patterns of attendance? In Wakefield, in this one deanery, we found just over 50 people who worshipped regularly but never came on Sunday. It gave us the sound bite We have found a missing congregation!.

We seem to be moving  rapidly into a time where people are still very much a part of the Church but express this commitment in a growing variety of ways. This is partly a consequence of changing patterns of work and leisure, but also an expression of two other trends shaping our culture. First, the tendency towards believing without belonging, which has affected many organisations and institutions. People in Britain don’t believe any less than they used to (in fact among young people interest in spirituality is on the increase in a way unknown since the 1960s); it is seen as a private matter which does not require public expression, let alone action.

Secondly, people increasingly tend to approach church as consumers browsing around to see what the church can offer.  So, where, and when the service takes place will have a large influence on how often they attend.

The conclusions from all this are fairly obvious. But we may not like them. Some will say that we should not pander to this creeping consumerism, and clearly there are very real dangers in seeking to become a church that is split a hundred different ways in order to meet the needs of highly individualised niche markets. But if we look at a fairly standard and traditional Anglican model of church we already discover such a template. It is still common in the Church of England to find a parish with three distinct services on a Sunday  an 8 o’clock service, parish communion later that morning and evensong, serving three quite distinct congregations in three quite distinct styles of worship. What has nearly always been missing from this model is the coming together of these congregations so that the unity of the church can be visibly expressed and experienced. After all, the gospel is supposed to draw us together across our divides, not minister to us in our isolation and prejudice.

In other words, we need to develop models of church which have both the celebration and the cell. And we need to express the cellular life of the body in a greater variety of ways so as to suit the needs of different groups of people. I call these new expressions of Christian community, and they may come to life in people’s homes, in the workplace, during lunch-times, in the evenings, centred around worship and prayer or as a further development of catechumenal models of enquiry and initiation like Alpha and Emmaus.

The good news in all these statistics is that changing patterns of church attendance mean that maybe the Church is not as small as we think. The bad news is that we are nevertheless still in decline and our influence among the young has shrunk drastically.

There are many other ways we need to engage with and respond to these figures. But the Church is indebted to the prophetic cry that issues forth from Peter Brierley’s figures. Only good research can challenge us in this way, and we need more of it. Meanwhile, we need urgently to become a Church with a more varied pattern, setting free the energies of clergy and laity to pioneer some new ways of doing church.

Open and Closed   Chris Price

The last Saturday in August saw the final Open Saturday and Recital of the 2000 season. Over the course of the 17 weeks of this year’s extended programme we have manned the church from the 10.30 am Eucharist through to something after 1 pm. Refreshments have been served, people have been shown round the church and offered both free material and various items to purchase, and, at 12 noon each week, those present have been regaled with a variety of good music.

When we started these summer sessions as an experiment in 1998, we opened for two months and offered only organ recitals. In 2000 we have listened to voices, and a variety of chamber instruments. In that opening year, the average attendance was about 20: this year it has been nearer to 40, and on occasion as many as 70. Next year we will extend the season again to begin after Easter, partly to accommodate the growing list of musical performers, and partly to extend further our welcome, not just to our regulars, but to those who drop in on impulse and find a warm welcome, food and drink and good music at St Faith’s.

Our thanks are due to all who have helped in every way: as caterers, welcomers and performers; we look forward to seeing you all again in 2001  with the welcome promised addition of helpers from St Mary’s to share the workload.

Those of us who set up and maintain these Open Saturdays believe that they are one of the most important ways in which our church bears witness in the parish and the local community, and are more than happy to see the ongoing success of the scheme. To those who have yet to sample the pleasures of an hour or two in church of a summer Saturday morning  come and join us next year!

Priest, Pastor, Vicar, Minister and Friend?

Whatever we call him (or her), it’s still a tough job!

If he visits his flock he’s nosy,
 if he doesn’t he’s a snob.
If he preaches longer than 10 minutes it’s too long,
 if he preaches less than 10 minutes he can’t have prepared his sermon.
If he runs a car he’s worldly,
 if he doesn’t he is always late for appointments.
If he tells a joke he’s flippant,
 if he doesn’t he’s far too serious.
If he starts the service on time his watch must be fast,
 if he’s a minute late he’s keeping the congregation waiting.
If he takes a holiday he’s never in the parish,
 if he doesn’t he’s a stick-in-the-mud.
If he runs a bazaar he’s money mad,
 if he doesn’t there’s no social life in the parish.
If he installs electronic devices he’s extravagant,
 if he doesn’t he’s behind the times.
If he’s young he’s inexperienced
 if he’s getting old he ought to retire.

when he dies there’s never been anyone like him!

Originally from the Catholic Herald and seen in another parish magazine.

The Lord Runcie Window  Chris Price

Since the brief report last month of the plans to install a memorial window to Lord Runcie, further details and ideas have come together.

It is our hope that Robert Runcie can be suitably commemorated in stained glass, and at the same time tribute paid to all who since the foundation of our church found their vocation to the priesthood at St Faith’s. It would obviously not be practical to name them individually in the window, but it would seem fitting for their most illustrious member to represent them all.

Various ideas have been put together, and Eric Salisbury, who provided the preliminary sketches for the Past Worshippers window installed last year, is preparing drawings for this new window. Linda Walton of Design Light Stained Glass, maker of that window, has agreed, should we go ahead, to accept the commission for this new one, and would therefore in due course be responsible for the realisation of the design and the manufacture and installation of the window itself.

Preliminary ideas are for the left-hand light to feature the figure of Lord Runcie, appropriately vested, together with a representation of St Faith’s. The right-hand  window  would  feature  images associated  with the rest of his life and work: these would probably include Merchant Taylors’ School, where he was educated, St Luke’s Church, where he was confirmed, some representation of his war exploits and of course, something associated with his episcopate and archiepiscopate at St Albans and Canterbury.

Other motifs for the various spaces available, both in this light and in the smaller lights above, could include badges or crests from establishments with which Lord Runcie was associated, and appropriate biblical and eucharistic symbols. As previously recorded, it is suggested that  lines from In our day of thanksgiving would be suitably engraved in the glass, together with text briefly identifying Lord Runcie and his local associations, and the commemorating of  other priestly vocations, incorporated in the design.

We await a costing for a window of this size, but it is very much worth pointing out that it is not intended that any cost should fall on the church’s general funds. As with other recent adornments to the fabric and worship of St Faith’s in the past years (the first window, the votive candle stand and the latest vestment set), it is hoped that the cost can be entirely met by the generosity of members and friends of St Faith’s: in other words that this installation, if it materialises, should be funded entirely by new money that would not otherwise have come to St Faith’s.

With this in mind, we would very much welcome at this stage offers of help in funding, so that it can be seen whether the whole idea is viable. Some funding has already been offered: anyone interested, or requiring more details, is asked to speak, in confidence if so required, to me or to Fr Neil. Naturally, we very much hope that this ideas can get off the ground, and the window be a fitting memorial to a great man and to all who followed his path to the priesthood, as well as marking a fitting conclusion to our Centenary season. As mentioned previously, Bishop James has said that he would wish to dedicate the window, and we envisage in due course a memorial service with this as its climax. Naturally, before any of this, approval both at PCC and Diocesan Advisory level would be sought; and ideas, comments and suggestions from members of the congregation are of course still most welcome.

A Prayer for the Stressed

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those that I had to kill today because they got on my nerves. Help me to be careful of the toes that I tread on today: they may be attached to the feet that I have to kiss tomorrow. Help me to remember, when I’m having a bad day and it seems that people are trying to wind me up, that it takes 42 muscles to frown, 28 to smile and only four to extend my arm and smack someone in the mouth!

Finally, help me always to give 100% to my work ...
· 12% on Mondays
· 23% on Tuesdays
· 40% on Wednesdays
· 20% on Thursdays
· and 5% on Fridays

(Approved by Fr Neil but naturally in no way reflecting his life patterns. Ed.)

Time and Space is our Universe    Joan Jones

Our thoughts, notions, inspirations
are governed by our mind
which we in turn siphon our daily tasks.
We are individuals
and our knowledge, emotions and feelings
make us what we are.

The Choir at the Castle  Rachel Jones

Last month Stephanie Dunning gave her impressions of the choir’s visit to sing services at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. This month we print the viewpoint of a younger chorister.

At the beginning of August, the choir  made a very successful trip to Windsor to sing in St George’s Chapel. We stayed in a beautiful priory in Ascot which looked as though it had come straight from a BBC period drama. Unfortunately, inside, it wasn’t quite the stately home we had first envisaged but, other than queues for the bathroom, it was all very nice.

On Saturday, we rehearsed in the chapel in the priory. Saturday was going to be a relatively quiet day, so we were all able to relax knowing that we only had one service to rehearse for. We arrived at Windsor Castle just before lunch time and had a few hours to split up and wander round Windsor. Mary and I looked around the grounds of the castle and the state rooms, safe in the knowledge that the staff were blissfully unaware that we hadn’t paid! We went into St George’s Chapel itself and looked like proper little tourists as we gazed in awe at the vastness of it. Personally, I was just wondering how our choir would do it justice. When it came the last rehearsal before Evensong we were shown how to process in. Mary and I were leading in so we knew that if any mistakes were made it would be us that made them and us that looked silly. Luckily it all went well and anything that did go wrong during the service had nothing to do with us.

Sunday was far more hectic and we had hardly any time to ourselves, as we had to get to Windsor early to do two consecutive services before lunch. These both went well but by the time we got half way through the second service, all we could think about was the Sunday dinner we’d get when we got back to the Priory. After eating together for the last time (a lovely Sunday roast cooked for us by the cooks at the priory) we only had one service left before we went home. We packed our cases and put them in the coach, making sure we left at least one thing behind for luck. The last evensong went very quickly and without any problems to speak of  which was unusual. Then, before we knew it, we were saying our goodbyes and preparing to return home. The clergy in St George’s Chapel seemed to think we were a success but I’m sure they were counting the days before their choir came back. However I think all of our choir thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and it was a very memorable experience for all of us.

A Story of Faith      Di Jackson

Some years ago my sister Faith married Adrian at what is considered late in life. A year later, to everyone’s joy, Faith became pregnant.

Rachel Faith was born after an emergency caesarian operation  13 weeks premature and weighing just 1lb 9 oz: less than a bag of sugar!

During the ensuing hours and days our faith was truly called upon. My sister was very ill and Rachel was fighting for her life, surrounded by specialist equipment and dedicated staff, plus much love and numerous prayers. Rachel Faith is now a bubbly schoolgirl doing all the things any lively 8-year-old would do, and more besides!

We recently held a coffee morning for the Newborn Appeal and Rachel’s Raffle helped to raise over 510.00.  A huge thankyou must be given to all the family and friends who contributed to such a happy day.

However, no amount of money can repay our debt of gratitude to the numerous people who surrounded Rachel with expertise and encouragement but primarily, with love and faith when it was need most.

St Faith’s 100 Club  Miriam Jones

As most of you probably know by now, we are launching St Faith’s 100 Club in October, the first draw being made on the first Sunday in November. However, there are still a few places which need filling at the  time of going to print. If you are unsure about the rules, here are a few details to help you to make up your mind whether or not you should join in this venture!

Each month, every member will pay £5. This can be done by several methods: Standing Order payable monthly (£5), half-yearly (£30), annually (£60) or alternatively, by cash/cheque. The payment must be received by the 20th of each month preceding the draw. For example: in order to take part in the draw which is to be made on Sunday 5th November, you must have paid your £5 by 20 October.

According to the laws surround fund-raising efforts such as this, half the money collected must be given in prizes. Therefore, if there are the full 100 members allowed, the prizes will be allocated as follows:

· 1st    £100
· 2nd   £75
· 3rd    £50
· 4th    £25

If, however, there are fewer participants, the prizes will be reduced accordingly.

The total funds collected from 100 members over the year will be £6000, and, as I’m sure you can all calculate, this means £3000 clear profit for church funds!

If you have any further query regarding this excellent money-making scheme, please ask me! And, if you haven’t already done so, why not join us in the chance to win a prize every month!

Church Hall Update    Geoff Moss

In July of this year we received an ominous visit from the Senior Technical Officer from Sefton’s Environmental Protection Department; this is because community groups use our hall and it therefore has to conform to Health and Safety and Food Hygiene legislation.

Unfortunately the hall failed to meet the standards required and we were given 14 days to comply or face the possibility of prosecution (and close-down!) under the legislation. After negotiation, a time scale has been worked out to start to put the faults right. These include repairs to the drains, the provision of paper hand towels, the eradication of damp in the kitchen, tiling required in the toilets, the provision of hot water in the upper toilet, plastering at ceiling level in the hall, repairs to floors, decorating and a general wash and brush up.

During the summer we have been working to correct some of these problems, and I would like to thank Chris Dawson, John Taylor, Duncan Haughton and John Crooke for volunteering their time, and Chris Spence for organising a team to clean the hall.

We are due for a re-inspection during September, but I feel confident that we have done enough to arrange a further time scale for the rest of the work required to be carried out.

(All at St Faith’s are very grateful to Geoff for his hard and skilful work – and negotiating skills  and are relieved that we still have a Church Hall open for use: at least at present!. Ed.)

Sonnet for the Centenary       Chris Price

They built in trust before the houses came
Foursquare uncompromising brick and stone
And gave their church a fearful martyr’s name
To mark its witness where it stood alone.

Thus Douglas Horsfall’s bounty came to be,
Founded in faith, sailing against the tide
People and priests one in adversity
With prayer and sacrament their daily guide.

So through a century this temple grew:
Succeeding generations gave their best
To pass this blessing to the steadfast few
Who loved this place and found in Faith their rest.

Ours is that trust: to guard in latter days,
For all who come, a house of prayer and praise.

March 1998